Watch out Carrie and Bo. Move over Kelly. Roll over Ruben. There's another "Idol" around; he's just a little bit older, and his show business success story is even more improbable. He's Ron Gartner, a high energy 62-year-old NYC resident who in just the past 6 years - went from being a full-time fabric jobber to a nationally recognized singing star, headlining at nightclubs, concerts, golf course communities, and charity events from coast to coast.
Born in LA, Gartner gave up his dream to be an entertainer at the age of 20 after a few years of singing at the Whisky A-Go-Go led only to an unfulfilled contract with Motown Records. Instead, he went to work with his Dad, building a chain of retail fabric stores. When the business was sold, Gartner moved to New York where, anxious to find an outlet for his singing, he began hanging out at "open mike" piano bars. In 2000, he volunteered to perform for free at a senior center in Queens. One center led to another, and the rest is history. Gartner's "Act 2" life story has been featured on PBS? affiliate WLIW, CBS Eye on the DesertThe New York Times, The LA Times, and the Miami Herald. High profile engagements in 2006 included star turns at Odettes Cabaret in New Hope, the Rainbow Room in NYC, and PNC Bank (Garden State) Arts Center in NJ before an audience of 4000 fans. In January of 2007, Ron heads out to Harrahs Casino in Louisiana, where he and his 18 piece orchestra will entertain a group of "high rollers".
Quite a "stretch", as a fabric salesman might say.